Save the Dream Award for Sportsmanship
The Save the Dream Award for Sportsmanship was created to recognize and honour those athletes who demonstrate exemplary and extraordinary commitment to the values, ethics, honesty, and respect embodied in sport.
The inaugural Save the Dream Award was presented to Spanish athlete Iván Fernández Anaya, for the honesty and sportsmanship he showed in a cross-country race in Navarre, Spain in December 2012, where he refused to take advantage when his rival and leading runner, Kenyan Abel Mutai, mistakenly stopped short of the finishing line. Instead Anaya guided Mutai to the finish line, allowing him to win the race. “I didn’t deserve to win it,” Anaya told Spanish newspaper, El Pais. “I did what I had to do. He was the rightful winner. He created a gap that I couldn’t have closed if he hadn’t made a mistake.” Anaya later said:
Even if they had told me that winning would have earned me a place in the Spanish team for the European championships, I wouldn’t have done it either. I also think that I have earned more of a name having done what I did than if I had won. And that is very important, because today, with the way things are in all circles, in soccer, in society, in politics, where it seems anything goes, a gesture of honesty goes down well.
Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary-General and Chairman of the Save the Dream High-Level Panel H.E. Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani praised Anaya’s gesture, saying, “What Ivan did was exceptional. In the cut-throat world of modern sport such examples of sportsmanship shine through.” ICSS President Mohammed Hanzab called Anaya “a very worthy recipient of the first Save the Dream Award and a role model to young athletes around the world.”